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Oyster Bay-East Norwich district holds special meeting to discuss school security after employee threat

Residents attend an emergency meeting at Oyster Bay

Residents attend an emergency meeting at Oyster Bay High School on Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2015, where school officials discussed the situation of Brian Hulsen, 40, a custodian at the James H. Vernon School in East Norwich, who was arrested for allegedly making terroristic threats against the school and a teacher who works there. Photo Credit: Danielle Finkelstein

Angry and worried parents packed the Oyster Bay High School auditorium Tuesday night to learn more about an alleged terroristic threat against a district school.

The employee threatened a "Columbine" attack against James H. Vernon School in East Norwich and a specific teacher, district officials said at the special school board meeting.

Parents were told that the threat was made after school dismissal on Sept. 4, but a teacher who heard the threat didn't notify the principal until the morning of Sept. 8 -- after the Labor Day holiday weekend.

The principal of the school serving grades three through six didn't notify district administrators until the next day, officials said.

"I think it's unconscionable that the principal waited a full day before letting the central office know," said a parent, Nelson Iocolano.

The custodian, Brian Hulsen, 40, of Bethpage, was arrested Thursday on a felony charge of making a terroristic threat and released on $5,000 cash bail. Police have not disclosed a possible motive.

Two legally owned assault weapons were removed from his home, said Nassau County Assistant District Attorney Daniel Looney, who attended the meeting. He said prosecutors intend to ask a judge Wednesday to order Hulsen to wear a GPS ankle bracelet to make sure he stays away from the school.

Additional security measures, from changed locks to added security guards, are in place at all district schools, said Superintendent Laura Seinfeld.

Hulsen has been suspended by the district.

But many parents were angry about the five days it took to notify police. "The lag time in the beginning of what happened made everyone very uncomfortable," said another parent, Bill Jones.

Hulsen has no criminal record, according to his attorney, Ron Bekoff of Garden City. Bekoff said last week the allegations would be difficult to prove in court.

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